Why Robert George Is the Chris Christie of Conservative Intellectuals
George dismisses the grim reality of Muslim women being brutalized or even killed for not wearing a hijab with a defensive note:
I have no doubt that in certain cultures, including some Muslim cultures, the covering of women is taken to an extreme and reflects a very real subjugation, just as in sectors of western culture, the objectification of women (including the sexualization of children at younger and younger ages) by cultural pressures to pornify reflects a very real (though less direct and obvious) subjugation. But, of course, we are in the happy position of not having to choose between the ideology of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and that of Hugh Hefner.
Yet if George’s concern is really for “moral values,” it is odd that he has never written about the fact that many Muslim women don the hijab not out of modesty, but out of fear. It is, in fact, far more likely that women will be victimized for not wearing it than for wearing it. In recent years, a Canadian Muslim girl, Aqsa Parvez, was choked to death with her hijab by her father after she refused to wear it. Amina Muse Ali, a Christian woman in Somalia, was murdered because she wasn’t wearing a hijab. Forty women were murdered in Iraq in 2007 for not wearing the hijab.
There are many other such cases. As George stands with Muslims “in defense of what is right and good,” are these women not entitled to defense? George grounds his naïve and uncritical stance in the teachings of the Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council, which states that Muslims “worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has also spoken to men,” and “highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.”